The air of Val-d’Or seems to do the best to the new defender of Foreurs, David Noël. The former Saguenéens has found its offensive touch since its acquisition at the beginning of January.
The second round of the Sags in 2015, David Noel was the price to be paid by the General Manager of the Sags, Yanick Jean, to add the veteran Olivier Galipeau to the defensive brigade.
At the age of 17, he now plays an enhanced role and fills him very well, leading the QMJHL rookie defenders with eight goals. With the Foreurs, he now has five goals and as many passes in 12 games since his arrival, he who scored three and amassed 11 assists in 36 encounters with the Chicoutimi formation.
The number of shots may be no stranger to his new offensive successes. He has accumulated 29 in the Foreurs uniform, nearly three per match, which is already more than half of his 49 throws in the first half of the season. “I have plenty of playing time and coach confidence. It’s going very well right now and it’s positive, “said David Noël on Wednesday as the Foreurs had just stopped in Chapais for lunch.
At the end of January, David Noel performed a noteworthy feat, becoming the 8th rookie defender of the history to succeed in a hat trick, in a victory against a leading team, Armada de Blainville- Boisbriand.
“These are moments that do not happen often and it’s nice to live,” said David Noël, who believes that although he has offered a good performance since his arrival in Val-d’Or, his main objective Is to seek consistency.
David Noël admitted that he did not expect to leave the Saguenay even if the leaders of the chicoutimian organization decided to try the coup at the time of holiday transactions. “It can happen in hockey. I understood they had to go for an experienced defender, “said the 17-year-old, agreeing that the presence of his teammate Jake Smith in the deal helped him swallow the pill of this new adventure.
“I was two hours away from my family in Quebec City and I found myself in Val-d’Or. However, for hockey, it is only positive, “he summarizes.
Since the end of the exchange period, even if they have sacrificed striker Julien Gauthier and Olivier Galipeau, the Foreurs do not let themselves be imposed, as evidenced by their 11 points crown in their last ten games.
“We believe in our chances. The veterans who stayed behind support us in all this and give us advice. Guys do not want to lose and we work hard, “insists David Noël who feels a certain excitement to face the Sags, which he will do twice rather than a Thursday and Friday.
German Rubtsov’s absence from the Sags lineup did not even last a week. The Russian striker will return to play on Thursday night, in the first of two games against the Foreurs of Val-d’Or, center Georges-Vézina.
Rubtsov had worried the team management and supporters last week when he fell heavily in the gang after being hooked into a breakaway. Initially, the medical authorities of the club feared a fracture of the patella, but further examinations the next day revealed nothing abnormal. After his return on skates Tuesday in practice, the new offensive weapon of the Sags passed the test to receive the authorization to face the Foreurs.
“Today I had the impression that he was very close to 100%,” dropping head coach Yanick Jean afterwards, also announcing that Brendan Hamelin could also be back in the lineup. A decision will be made after the morning training, but the Blue pilot seemed very optimistic about the 19-year-old veteran. With Rubtsov and Hamelin, he would also have more options for his offensive combinations.
Yanick Jean will tackle this double-faced Foreurs program as a premise in the playoffs where two duels in 24 hours occur frequently. “It is a very underestimated club, announces Yanick Jean who will delegate in the melee Julio Billia Thursday and Xavier Potvin the next day. They are well managed and the only reason they did not take off early in the season is because of the injuries. Yes they traded a few players to maturity, but they still have a good team. They are able to score goals night after night. They have skills. If you cheat on this team, you’re going to have a lot of misery. ”